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Forum > Sewing Machines > Long Arm Recommendation ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Long Arm Recommendation
Any info on HQ18 Avante in particular
SharonSews
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SharonSews
Intermediate
Virginia USA
Member since 1/18/08
Posts: 17
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Date: 9/8/13 4:56 PM

I'd love to get a long arm machine. I've been doing some research on line, looking at the HQ18 Avante in particular. I haven't tried one yet as I need to travel about 2 hours to find a dealer.
Anyone have any experience with the HQ18 Avante or any moderately priced long arm machine? I would like a frame large enough for a king size quilt and need recommendations on a frame as well. I would love to get software to drive the machine, but haven't really been looking at prices for that yet. What should I know about long arms and frames that you have learned the hard way???
Thanks in advance for suggestions and lessons learned!
Sharon

roziebelle
roziebelle  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Pennsylvania USA
Member since 3/17/12
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Date: 9/9/13 8:37 AM

You should go to the next sewing expo that you can go to. There you can try different models which you definitely need to do before you buy one. I believe you can probably get the best deals there also. I don't have a machine but my husband has spent a lot of time looking at them. He would really like to get one. I have enough to do to just get the quilts pieced.

RadarRadiance
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RadarRadiance
Intermediate
Nevada USA
Member since 10/24/07
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In reply to SharonSews <<


Date: 9/9/13 10:40 AM

Home quilting group from yahoo board that you can join and check out many different long/mid/short arm machines and frames. In the file section you will find a lot of help and just about every machine is represented at this site for the home quilter. I have a Nolting fun quilter set up on a Hinterberg frame, for the cost value and quality is has served me well. I bought mine prior to having so many choices and some of these new machines sound fantastic and are getting very competitive. Be sure to measue your space to see how large of a frame you can set up. I have 10 foot poles on mine and can do a king but only in one direction. If you have room for a 12 foot that would be perfect but you also need to add a couple feet to it for the frame and make sure you have enough room to get behind the frame. Also when you load the quilt you need space on both sides of the quilt and your batting and backing extend beyond your quilt top. Lots of choices......Juki just came out with a new machine that looks really interesting, I will say I enjoy my Nolting and have no plans to upgrade. I have a stitch regulator but it isn't computer driven. You about double your cost when you include server/servo motors, etc.
I agree to check out a sewing expo or larger quilt show especially to see different systems and ask questions. Most local quilt shops also have long arms set up to help get an idea of different options.

-- Edited on 9/9/13 10:49 AM --

kerri Y
kerri Y
Intermediate
Member since 5/6/04
Posts: 258
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In reply to SharonSews <<


Date: 9/9/13 7:16 PM

I had very good luck with my hq 16 with Stitch regulator on a frame. I had it in between two bigger longarms, one 26 inch longarm and then went back to a 30" gammill with statler that I used for customer quilting as a business

The stitches on the HQ are excellent. The large bobbin is great. handiquilter makes a wonderful machine.

The old frame was their biggest negative, but since I owned mine 7 years ago, they have made GREAT improvements on their frame and track. The sturdier the frame, the happier you will be.

I added "Edgerider wheels" to my HQ 16 and my Gammill, they are the best wheels out there and your machine will glide like butter. They're an addtional about $175, but worth it. Why the companies do not sub out these wheels and just offer them upfront is a huge mystery to me.

I do computer quilting. There is a learning curve and truly doesn't get the quilt done any quicker. You do most of your planning up front with sizing and design. You can do some beautiful things with them and great straight line quilting and SID which is the hardest thing on a freehand longarm.

I wouldn't go less than an 18 inch throat, you'll just want more. Less rolling of the quilt is why it is worth it, and you can fit a larger block in one section.

I am oogling the sit down sweet sixteen because i love HQ machines and would like to sit and quilt some. Can't justify any more $ really though.

HTH

-- Edited on 9/10/13 1:09 AM --

aslinnd

aslinnd
Advanced Beginner
AUSTRALIA
Member since 5/28/07
Posts: 851
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Date: 9/9/13 9:55 PM

I have the HQ16 sitdown so not very relevant but I did look at the 18 and frame but had to discard due to space. For what its worth I've found the machine easy to operate, totally reliable and information on the HQ website and manual very good. I added the stitch regulator, open toe foot foot and horizontal spool holder - no problems with installation or maintenance.

SharonSews
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SharonSews
Intermediate
Virginia USA
Member since 1/18/08
Posts: 17
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In reply to RadarRadiance <<


Date: 9/9/13 10:26 PM

Thanks for the Yahoo Group recommendation RR. I just submitted my request to join.

And thanks to all for your comments. There is a Sew & Quilt Expo next month in Fredericksburg, VA which is about an hour away. I will go there and not be my usual shy self about trying out the long arms.
I think I have enough space in my sewing room for a frame, but I haven't really measured to be sure--still in the early stages of wanting and planning for a long arm. The sofa will have to go for sure, but it's only being used to drape my ironed fabric pieces. If I can only get my DH to make that 'ladder' style fabric hanger that I've had on his honey-do list FOREVER....

a.rose.sews
a.rose.sews
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Utah USA
Member since 6/14/13
Posts: 83
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In reply to SharonSews <<


Date: 9/9/13 10:49 PM

Hi Sharon,

I get to play with the Avante' and help set them up at customer's homes. We also carry the Juki Virtuoso. HQ has really advanced their engineering over the past year. It's a simple machine on the inside, and there's not a lot of bells and whistles, but it really rides smooth. The Juki has more bells and whistles, but doesn't ride very smooth. The HQ table and carriage help with the smoothness. The carriage rides on 8 wheels that come at the track in 2 positions, at 4 points. The table is very sturdy metal with heavy cogs to keep the poles in place. Juki's table is ...cheap. The plastic things at the ends of the poles are always falling off. There's just no comparison. HQ has made their screen more user friendly. And they have the "Pro Stitcher," which is their computer robotics. The computer and program are awesome! We're just having a hard time figuring out how to keep all the cords out of the way. We've started using those plastic zip ties, which helps. But wouldn't it be great if they could go wireless? The Avante' runs about $8,500. The Pro Stitcher runs about $8,000. And HQ has very tight controls on the pricing, so it should be the same price all across the country.

------
Annette -- Sewing Machine Mechanic
Bernina 230, Bernina 800DL serger, Kenmore (60 lbs), Singer Treaddle 1901, White serger, Mercury MO111 industrial, shell-stitch machine, plus several to fix and sell or use for parts.

PortlandMaine
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PortlandMaine  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
Maine USA
Member since 1/29/11
Posts: 2238
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Date: 9/10/13 0:59 AM

Hey Karen -

I do not have personal experience with the machines - but, I watch lots of videos presented by the company. They have many free videos on their website - as well as webinars on you tube.

There is also a show called "quilt it, the long arm quilting show" that posts some of their shows on youtube - they use that brand of machines - and, while the brand supports the show - it gives the viewer a "in shop" experience.

After watching their videos for a few years - their dedication to their product and their genuine kindness and desire for buyers to enjoy operating their machine shines. My aunt has one of their machines - if I had the desire and cash to have a long arm I would shop their brand first.

Check out their many videos. They also offer group get away trainings at their factory.

I get the feeling they are the real deal.



------
Quilting up a storm!

SharonSews
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SharonSews
Intermediate
Virginia USA
Member since 1/18/08
Posts: 17
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In reply to PortlandMaine <<


Date: 9/13/13 9:09 AM

Thanks everyone! I visited an HQ dealer yesterday and used the machine on the frame. I like it a lot. Unfortunately the staff on duty at the store wasn't well-versed in the details of the frame or software, but I was able to play a little. I can't afford the software yet but I may get the machine and frame next month. I will check out the videos to learn as much as I can before purchasing, especially regarding how to load the top, batting and backing as I have limited space.

PortlandMaine
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PortlandMaine  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
Maine USA
Member since 1/29/11
Posts: 2238
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Date: 9/13/13 9:43 AM

Great! Looking forward to see what you make.

------
Quilting up a storm!

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